Fall highlights

Mostly the classics here. I may have missed the boat on some of the less common ones which have already dropped their leaves – I’ll see what I can do for something more interesting for another post.

Spirea betulifolia ‘Thor’

‘Thor’ Spirea is a fantastic plant. Grows about 24″ tall by 24-36″ wide, white flowers on moderately large blue green leaves through the summer turning intense orange/red in the fall. Similar but larger is Spiraea x media Snow Storm™ – also has white flowers on blue green leaves but turns slightly more purple in the fall but gets around 3-4′ tall, 4′ wide. Probably my prefered spirea but with limited space ‘Thor’ is an easy alternative.

Acer sp.

Honestly haven’t taken a close enough look at this tree to figure out what type of maple it is… I’ll basically though just use this space to say that if you want a maple it’s not a Norway Maple! Here at least they rarely get any fall colour to speak of (sometimes yellow-brown) and are always plagued by Tar Spot. Instead look for a nice Acer rubrum cultivar, Acer x freemanii ‘Autumn Blaze’ is always stunning, or Acer saccharum for a slower growing but also beautiful tree.

Miscanthus sinensis ‘Graziella’ & Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’

Miscanthus sinensis ‘Huron Sunrise’

Ornamental grasses are not only great in fall but some such as Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’ are really nice during the summer as well. Most will look good through the winter as well. My Miscanthus purpurascens did not turn red last year or this year or I’d love to say it’s nice but so far it’s been a disappointment. Nicest Miscanthus in my books probably goes to ‘Graziella’ for nicest texture, ‘Morning Light’ wins for best leaves in general having a similar texture to ‘Graziella’ but with white margins on the narrow leaf but has been moderatly slow to establish and has not yet flowered this year (the flowers are very nice on it so I wish it would bloom!), ‘Huron Sunrise’ is my favourite for flower colour, though there are many others with similar colours. Mostly I’m just not a fan of Zebra-type or broad leaved variegated Miscanthus cultivars (‘Cabaret’ etc).


Not sure which one this is. Don’t really care. They’re generally nice and new varieties are popping up all the time. I use them in landscaping but don’t know that I could dedicate that much space to one… Maybe a more dwarf purple leaf one like ‘Xenox’ (I’ve grown and really like this one!). Biggest thing I like about them is that unlike some of the fall plants like the hot season grasses Sedum will be one of the first plants growing in the spring.


About Andrew

Plant lover living in Toronto, Canada where I grow a wide range of plants in a very small space.
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